Austin/ Weather & Environment
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Published on February 22, 2024
Austin Heats Up with Year's Warmest Stretch, Wildfire Risks Rise in Hill CountrySource: National Weather Service

As Austinites step out the door this week, the consensus is clear: winter has taken a backseat. According to the National Weather Service, locals can expect "gradual clearing" with temperatures soaring to a high near 87 today, indicative of the warmest stretch this year thus far. South winds are set to shift by the afternoon to a northwestern direction, bringing gusts as high as 20 mph.

However, this sudden surge in warmth is not without its risks. A "weak Pacific cold front" will be moving in later this evening, flipping the winds to a north/northwestern direction with gusts persisting between 15-25 mph. This pattern is forecasted to maintain clear skies with a low around 55 tonight. But the shift also raises the stakes for wind-driven wildfires in the Hill Country, as KXAN reports there is a high risk due to the gusty winds and dry air.

The upcoming days hold similar conditions. Friday's outlook from the National Weather Service is sunny with a high near 74, and come nightfall, the skies will only be "partly cloudy," with a low around 49. The warmth is not to just quickly dissipate; the weekend will be bathed in sunlight with highs rolling in at 77 on Saturday and edging towards 79 by Sunday.

There is a small twist come the new week, as the forecast from the National Weather Service predicts a "partly sunny" Monday with a high near 86. Winds will once again pick up, potentially to aggressively challenge the area with gusts up to 25 mph. The warmth persists into Tuesday with mostly cloudy skies anticipated and highs lingering near 83. While the winds are expected to slow down into the evening, they will again intensify, pushing some concern for the Hill Country where the wildfire risk remains pronounced.

Austin-Weather & Environment